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UPMC Cardiovascular Institute Recruiting for Severe Coronary Heart Disease Study

PITTSBURGH, May 14, 2009 — The UPMC Cardiovascular Institute currently is enrolling participants for a Phase 2 clinical trial to examine whether administering a naturally occurring protein improves blood supply to the cardiac muscle in patients with severe coronary artery disease.

The study, known as Angiogenesis for the Treatment of Coronary Heart Disease (ACORD), is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that compares the use of a protein at three dose levels with a placebo. The therapy is delivered to the heart muscle by threading a catheter through a small incision in the upper leg.

“Other studies have hinted that this approach can reduce the severity of angina in patients who have exhausted all other treatment options,” said Oscar Marroquin, M.D., director of the UPMC Center for Interventional Cardiology Research and principal investigator of the study. “It appears the protein, called FGF-1, is able to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels to get around existing blockages and improve blood flow to the heart.”

This trial is designed to see whether FGF-1 can help patients and, if so, how much should be given. To be eligible for the study, patients must have a history of angina or chronic chest pain that persists despite optimal drug therapy.

The ACORD trial is expected to enroll 120 patients, including 10 from the UPMC Cardiovascular Institute, at 30 medical centers throughout the United States.

For more information, or to find out if you qualify for the ACORD trial, call 412-647-1385.

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